I Went To Disney With Small Kids, Here’s What I Learned…

Last week, Huff the Hubs, the kids, and my in-laws went to Disney World. It was a magical (and exhausting) time! I tried to prepare for the trip as best I could, knowing that I’d basically have to bring our entire house with us and somehow make it fit onto a stroller while we walked around the parks.

A lot of knowledge gained through a Disney vacation is acquired through trial and error. So I’m going to share my accomplishments and failures so you can have the best Disney vacay ever!

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Make “Park Bags” In Advance

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Listen to me: you are going to want to fall into bed AS SOON as you get back to the hotel. You are not going to want to reorganize a diaper bag/backpack when your back is aching and you have the stench of sweat and sunblock. Plan ahead! I got 2-gallon zip top bags and filled them with what I thought we would need while we were at the park: diapers, baby wipes, a change of clothes for each kid, medications (like Tylenol, Benadryl etc.), and whatever else you think you may need.

 

Buy “Souvenirs” For The Kids Before You Leave

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to buy a “Walt Disney World” magnet before you go. What I’m saying is, your kids will ask for everything–and I mean eeeeeverything–in sight while you’re at the parks to the point where you will start trying to hide their eyes from the souvenir peddlers on the street because they will be like flies on honey with that stuff. My advice is: go to Dollar Tree and buy a few little figures of Mickey and pals to hand to your little ones when they want something. Its cheaper, its faster, and they have something in their hands to keep them busy during those long waits in ride lines. Also, if you plan on staying until the fireworks show, grab a bunch of glow sticks while you’re at DT! They even have Disney-themed ones! Such a money-saver (the glow stuff at DW was like $12 and up!) and you can splurge on something else later!

 

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

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I didn’t really drink water while we were there (unless I got it at the resort because, filtered water). Huff the Hubs had a Camelbak, but he used tap water and it was just too funky-tasting for me. Plus, I needed caffeine because I was sooooo sleep-deprived. But, I should’ve just sucked it up and drank the funk water. Or bought a 24-pack of water bottles and taken those to the park. I ended up get a heat rash because I was under hydrated. Its the worst. Don’t be like me. Just drink some water every hour to avoid dehydration and all the crappy symptoms.

 

Plan Rest Days

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If I could do it over again, I would’ve planned two extra days just so we’d have time to rest at the hotel in between going to the parks. We should’ve done a rest day every other day, but we only had a limited time and limited budget. Next time, though, we’re splurging for more days so we can rest and not be so crabby/sleep-deprived.

 

Pack Snacks 

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Even if you’re doing the Disney Dining Plan, you’re going to want to pack snacks for your kids. You’re not going to want to spend your precious snack credits on a Danimals yogurt you could get at home–you’re going to want to use those for a Mickey-shaped cake pop, yo! Go Go Squeeze applesauce pouches, Goldfish crackers (they even have Mickey Mouse-shaped ones!), and peanut butter crackers were our saving graces during this trip.

 

DO NOT JUST “WING IT”

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Before we left, I kept seeing all these posts about planning your Disney World day. I was like, “I’m not going to plan out every second of our day! I just want it to be a leisurely thing.”

That was the dumbest decision I have ever made, second only to the time I decided to have my baby shower TWO days after giving birth.

You NEED a plan. You need to know who wants to ride what, which characters are where, and how you’re going to execute all of it. I though it would take the fun out of it, but as it turns out, having a plan makes things run so much smoother and you’ll be a lot less stressed if you do.

 

Have you ever been to Disney World/Disneyland with little ones? What advice would you add to the list? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

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Last week, me, my parents, my sister, and my kiddos went on a road trip to Mount Rushmore. At first, I was worried that I would end the trip in a straight jacket.

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But, it actually turned out to be not that bad! Of course, there were some “I’m-going-to-pull-my-hair-out-if-you-two-don’t-stop-it” moments, but the good times far outweighed the bad and we really enjoyed ourselves!

I’m fully aware that family trips can be downright awful sometimes, so if you’re dreading a road trip coming up or you’ve just returned from one, here’s some funny to make you laugh to keep from crying!

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Happy travelling!

Fan Girl Friday!

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Happy Friday, everyone! Its a super happy Friday because we get a three-day weekend, AKA the official start to summer! WOOO! Plus, I’ve got some awesome finds you need to get ready for warmer weather and all it brings!

Summer is wedding season. If you haven’t received any wedding invitations yet, don’t worry, you will. And you’ll have to take a gift. Want something that will stand out of the crowd? Then pick up the newlyweds one of these Romeo and Julienne cutting boards!

Romeo and Juliebbe Cutting Board

Let’s just hope no one stands up during the vows and shouts, “A plague on both your houses!”

 

If you’re heading to the beach this summer, there’s always two main concerns: will I get eaten by a shark? And, where will I put my money and car keys while I’m getting eaten by a shark? I can help you with one of those problems!

Spam decoy safe

This cleverly disguised decoy “safe” will protect your valuables while you try to find Nemo (or Dory if you’re heading out after June 16th!)

 

Taking a road trip and need something to keep you (or the kids) busy? Toss one of these in your backpack for hours of tech-free entertainment!

Scratch and Sketch

Each page of this scratch and sketch notebook has tips on how to draw patriotic pics and interesting tidbits about each one! Plus, the star-spangled color will ignite the patriot in you!

 

Using your time off from school to get organized for all those activities you’ve be shirking off during the school year? Need some encouragement to help you through? Keep your tasks tidy with these Mister Rogers Neighborhood sticky notes!

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These notes come in a variety of shapes, making you yearn for your childhood days of listening to the soft-spoken man in the sweater.

 

Happy fangirling!

 

 

Mommy Monday

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Holy cow, y’all, it feels like I haven’t blogged in (*Squints Voice*) FOR-EV-ER!

Last week, my mom, sister Bridget, Huff the Tot, and I went to Virginia to visit to my sister, brother-in-law, and their brood. It was so good to get to see everyone (and the sites) as well as watch Hermione bond (and fight, ha!) with her cousins.

Travelling in itself is stressful, but add a toddler to the mix and a pregnant, hormonal woman to the mix and you’re basically asking for disaster.

Huff the Tot actually did really well on all flights. She just played with her toys or watched a Disney flick and was content. I’m not a good flyer, so I was basically having a panic attack every time I heard a squeal from the engine or felt a bump of turbulence.

All in all, the trip was really enjoyable! There were some parts, though, that were tough. Like when Huff the Tot woke up in the middle of the night puking or was so crabby that I was frustrated beyond belief. Don’t get me wrong; my mom, sisters, and brother-in-law were all extremely helpful, but it was tough to be away from Huff the Hubs for so long–particularly when Hermione would say, “A go home to Daddy!” (way to twist that knife in my heart, kid).

One evening while we were away, we ate at On the Border after a day trip to Washington D.C. I was exhausted, Huff the Tot was exhausted; basically everyone looked like extras from The Walking Dead. It was then that HtT decided it was a good time to have a meltdown. Which caused me to have a meltdown. Needless to say, while I was crying in the OtB bathroom while my brother-in-law walked around with Huff the Tot, I felt like a crap mom and really needed a molten chocolate cake all to myself.

Later that night as I laid in bed, I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a video that had me laughing so hard I was afraid I was going to wake up Hermione. It really helped me lighten up. I figured I wasn’t the only one who needed to see this, so I thought I’d share it with you! Hopefully this will help you to giggle and get through today’s “toughness”.

 

 

And, because Halloween is this weekend and we all know “That Mom”, here’s another video. Enjoy!

 

If you haven’t already, you need to check out The Break Womb’s YouTube channel! These women are hilarious!

Mommy Monday: Travel Edition (Or, 30 by 30 Update with a Mommy Twist)

This weekend, Huff the Hubs, Huff the Babe, and I took our first road trip as a family of three to Memphis to knock off one more thing on my 30 By 30 List: See Graceland.

We’ve never really traveled with HtB before. I mean, We’ve gone down to see HtH’s grandpa down near the Oklahoma border, but we also had the in-laws there to help. We considered leaving HtB with MeeMaw and Papa, but after realizing that we would probably get halfway there and miss her so much that we’d inevitably turn around, we decided to bring the little Griffyndor with us.

We did not know what we were in for.

On the way to Memphis (a 6 1/2 hour drive by Google Map standards), we decided to stop at a park to eat a picnic lunch. This way, HtB could play and stretch her tiny legs. It actually went really well!

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She played, giggled, and ate well. When she started to get fussy, we started Frozen on the travel DVD player my sister let us borrow (which seriously helped cut down on meltdowns–for HtB and Mommy!) or one of us would hop to the backseat and read a book with her. We got to Memphis two hours sooner than I thought we would and were pretty exhausted…well, me and Huff the Hubs were. Huff the Babe was not. She wanted to walk everywhere, touch everything, and inspect everything. At one point I thought: Why did we bring her?! 

Immediately following that thought entering into my mind, she toddled over to me and hugged my legs so tight. That’s when I thought: Oh yeah! THAT’S why we brought her! 

 

We had dinner at a Memphis staple, Rendezvous:

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It was DELICIOUS! And Huff the Babe totally charmed everyone with her dancing. The next day, we went to Graceland. I was just a tad excited:

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The tour was pretty good! Since we knew we probably wouldn’t come back, we decided to do the VIP tour (i.e., entry to all of the exhibits).

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After we got our tickets, we were given an iPad and headphones to help us on our tour–complete with tour guide John Stamos:

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The tour was a little frustrating at first because we had to juggle our iPads, headphones, backpack, baby, and stroller. Huff the Hubs could sense my frustration and ran point with Huff the Babe so I could look at everything (thanks, Honey!).

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The tour wasn’t too “kid-friendly” (i.e., I’m sure many kids would be bored) but there were plenty of shiny things for HtB to look at:

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And horses (or as she called them, “doggies”) to wave “hi” to:

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The tour of the house (which lasted about 2 hours) had no bathrooms, which meant no changing tables. So…we had to improvise:

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We had a fun time, but it might have been better to bring a set of grandparents so Huff the Hubs and I could’ve gone alone. But, Huff the Babe charmed many of the Elvis fans and in the process, I think, became a fan of the King as well! I mean, look at how enthused she looks:

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Even though there were parts of the trip that were a little exhausting and frustrating, we still had a REALLY good time. And I think Huff the Hubs said it best on our last night in Memphis when he said: “You know, if we wouldn’t have brought her [Hermione], we would have such different memories. I don’t think they’d be as fun.”

 

Fan Girl Thursday

Hello nerdy guys and gals! Friday came early this week! Well, at least my Friday came early this week since me and Huff the Hubs are hittin’ the road! But, I couldn’t go on a trip without first giving you some geeky goodies to quench your nerd thirst!

 

Get excited Whovians (more specifically, Ten fanatics!) because the complete David Tennant box set is available for pre-order!

So. Much. Tennant.

So. Much. Tennant.

This 26-disc set, on sale for £99.99 ($156) comes with every episode that Ten and his fabulous hair star in, as well as Christmas specials, outtakes, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage and more! AND, if you’re one of the first thousand peeps to pre-order, you get a mini sonic screwdriver!

 

Here lately, Huff the Babe has really been getting into Disney. Specifically Minnie and Mickey. She has a Minnie Mouse doll that her Nana got her that she LURVES. So when I saw this, I immediately squealed:

"Oh boy!"

“Oh boy!”

This super cute nightlight is on sale at Home Depot’s website! The light connects to a small charging station and can be operated with a small switch or it can be taken off the stand so your little one can snuggle it all night long! There are four different characters to choose from: Mickey, Minnie or Mike Wazowski and Sulley from Monster’s Inc. Adorbs, right?!

 

 

Last week I told you about how that awesome authoress, JK Rowling wrote a new story all about that pink-wearing-evil-cat-lady Dolores Umbridge. Well, turns out Rowling actually wrote FIVE more stories and posted them to her site Pottermore!

"It says right here that I'm a genius!"

“It says right here that I’m a genius!”

The stories cover backstories from people like Professor Trelawney, to magical creatures such as the thestrals, and wizarding places like Azkaban Prison! Register and check it out!

 

 

There’s a chill in the air, folks. Its time to bundle up and take care of those precious lips of yours the Shakespearean way! Check out these bard-worthy lip balms from Perpetual Kid!

"To be chapped, or not to be chapped. That is the question."

“To be chapped, or not to be chapped. That is the question.”

The chapsticks come in a set of three, each one with a distinct scent and picture. There’s Shakespeare, Macbeth, and Hamlet!

 

Have a great weekend, peeps! I’ll tell you all about my travels on Monday!

30 By 30 Update

You guys. I have been ATTACKING my 30 by 30 List with major gusto! I wanted to update you on my progress!

 

Here’s what I’ve accomplished since I last updated you:

#28. Learn to play a song on the guitar.

 

 

Here’s what I’m currently working on:

#1. Watch all of AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies (Anniversary Edition).

I’ve watched SO many movies the past few weeks!

Apocalypse Now

Chinatown

City Lights

The Gold Rush

A Clockwork Orange

Easy Rider

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

King Kong

Modern Times

Patton

Platoon

Psycho

Rear Window

Shane

Sophie’s Choice

Sunset Boulevard

The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Deer Hunter 

The French Connection

The Maltese Falcon

The Manchurian Candidate

The Wild Bunch

Vertigo 

 

I’ve also got some things in the works. I just need to finish The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway as well as Moby Dick Herman Melville, and then Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and I will be FINISHED with my classic novel reading list ((#14). And, next month, me, Huff the Hubs and Huff the Babe will take our first trip as a family of three to Graceland (#6)!

 

There are a few items I’m getting stuck on (such as milking a cow) but I’m hoping that I’ll find a dairy somewhere soon that will help me check that one off!

 

Are you working on a “Bucket List”? If so, what have you accomplished? If not, what’s keeping you from making one?

My Last Year In My Twenties

Hey guys! Guess what today is?

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Yep, that’s right! Its my birthday! Woot woot! And not only is it my birthday, its my 29th birthday! And, according to my sister, after this it all goes downhill. So I need to live it up!

A few years ago, I made a list of stuff I wanted to accomplish by the time I turned 30. I called it my “30 by 30 List”. Wanna know what’s on it? Good, because I’ve got the list:

  1. Watch all of AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies
  2. Get a literary agent
  3. Work on a political campaign
  4. Finish my book (Done! August 2013)
  5. Go to Italy with BB
  6. See Graceland
  7. Meet someone famous (Jay Leno, Orlando Bloom, Cameron Crowe, the cast of Chuck–I got ‘Jeffster’s’ autograph!)
  8. Participate in a protest rally
  9. Sew and wear a dress/skirt
  10. Read every Jane Austen novel
  11. Enjoy a bottle of Cristal (but not by myself)
  12. Take Noah and Ellie (my nephew and niece) to see The Nutcracker (we’re going next Saturday!)
  13. Go camping (Done! Twice!)
  14. Finish my classic novel reading list
  15. Take a pole dancing class (Done! bachelorette party!)
  16. Run a marathon
  17. Get married (Done! 7-23-11)
  18. Buy my parents something BIG
  19. Go to the Red Carpet to see a movie premiere/award show
  20. Go to every state
  21. Get a job I LOVE (Done! August 2011)
  22. Have a baby (Done! September 2013)
  23. Change the oil in my truck
  24. Buy a house
  25. Donate my hair to locks of love (Done! August 2011)
  26. Make a meal from scratch
  27. Milk a cow
  28. Learn the guitar (one song all the way through)
  29. Go skinny dipping
  30. Pay off all school loan debt (Done! February 2013)

Some of these I’ve already accomplished (as you can see), but the others I need to get done SOON (especially #2!). So my goal for the next year is to get these things knocked off this list. I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated about my progress (and ask for some accountability!). Do you have any 30 by 30 goals? Or maybe 35 by 35?

Travel Log: Days Three and Four

Monday, May 20th

Today we went on our day tour to Salisbury, Stonehenge, and Bath. Our tour guide’s name was Jess. She was short and spunky; like Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music but with more sass.

 

In Salisbury, we went to the cathedral and saw The Magna Carta; very cool! And when I say “cool” I mean we were freezing our butts off! (Note to future traveling self: 60* in England is NOT the same as 60* in Oklahoma.)

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After a quick peek at the M.C., we hoofed it to a local Marks and Spencer (England’s posh WalMart) and searched for coats. We were nearing the end of our time there and hadn’t eaten lunch. So, yet again, we were late for our departure because we were waiting on food. Needless to say, everyone on the tour bus clapped for us when we arrived late (granted, it was only 3 minutes this time).

 

Stonehenge was neat. Last time I came to the stones, we didn’t pay to go into the park area, we just took pictures from the other side of the fence. It was interesting, but after a while it was like, “Oh. Okay. Lots of rocks.”  (Also, the whole time I kept thinking about the episode of Doctor Who that they filmed at the ‘Henge.)

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Bath was what I was most looking forward to. I love, love, LOVE Bath. Its incredibly gorgeous and full of history. We toured the Roman Baths (we didn’t just sneak into the museum via the bathroom like last time I was there). We saw the hot springs and the rooms where the people would bathe. Before we left, Huff the Hubs and I both got ice cream and then he got a pork and apple Cornish pasty.

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When we got back to the hotel, I was searching through Facebook and saw that there were tornadoes in Oklahoma. I was freaking out; I saw the path was going toward my family’s (and our) home. I told HtH, “I don’t care if phone calls are $2 a minute, I’m calling my family!”

 

I called Mom; no answer. I called my sister, and somehow, I got through. Thankfully, they were all safe and so were their homes. It was a very tense night’s sleep.

 

Tuesday, May 21st

Today we went to the Tower of London. Before we left for the trip, Huff the Hubs asked if we were going to any castles. I told him, “Yes; the Tower of London is considered a castle.” He threw a fit, thinking that the Tower was going to be lame and nothing compared to the castles he’s seen on TV. When we got to the Tower, he had to eat his words. He was in awe! We walked around, talked to some Beefeaters, saw the Crown Jewels, and ate fish chips.

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After the Tower, we went to The Globe Theater over in Southwark. It. Was. Awesome. I’d never been before and I couldn’t wait to see it! It did not disappoint. When we went inside the theater, the guide asked if there were any questions. I asked, “Have any television shows or movies been filmed here?” she said, “Sadly, Shakespeare in Love was not filmed here. But! Has anyone ever seen Doctor Who?” {I clapped with excitement} “Yes, an episode of Doctor Who was filmed here; David Tennant has stood on THAT stage!” (HtH had to restrain me from licking the stage.)

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After we left, we walked outside and I saw this! (My Harry Potter friends know what this is from!)

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After The Globe, we went back to the hotel to rest, email family, and check up on the status of Moore through Facebook. After a short nap, we went to Harrod’s and had dinner at a delicious Italian restaurant that my sister and I frequented during our trip in ’08. All in all, a good day. 

Travel Log: Day One

I wasn’t sure what to blog about today. So much has been going on in Oklahoma, I thought that perhaps I should blog about the tornadoes, but then I thought that might not be the best. I feel a little over saturated with the media coverage of it. Plus, I literally live less than 1/8 of a mile from a totally devastated area. Its been rough driving around town. I figured we could all use some happy. So, you will get to see some excerpts from my travel journals from London over the next few days.

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Huff the Hubs and I got back from London last Friday! We had such a blast! I have this little tradition of, whenever I go on a trip, I take a small notebook and record the events of our travels and any funny anecdotes that may happen. I did this also for our Babymoon to London. Enjoy.

Day One: Saturday, May 18th

Well evidently, we’re running on “Huffman Time” (i.e., waiting until the last minute). We got to the airport at 10:30 a.m. First mistake. There was a short line for the self-service kiosk, so we went there. Second mistake. The check-in programs for ALL international flights was down. Finally, at 10:58 a.m. we were able to get our boarding passes and get in line for security. We board at 11:11 a.m. We hadn’t eaten lunch yet. I’m pregnant. You do the math.

Of course, security took forever because of all the furloughs/sequester. And, once we finally were able to get to the x-ray machines, they pulled my carry-on for an extra look. Evidently, my can of almonds resembled an IED. Sigh.

We finished at security at 11:10. We hadn’t eaten lunch. I’m pregnant. You do the math.

Huff the Hubs ran to Schlotzky’s to get a sandwich for us to share on the plane. We assumed that since we were boarding at 11:11 and we were the last boarding group that we’d have to wait forever to board. Normally, that’s what happens. The flight attendants will come over the intercom and say they’re about to board and you normally don’t get on the plane until about 5 minutes before takeoff.

I guess the folks at United Airlines at Will Rogers Airport were more prepared than we thought. While HtH was in line for our sandwich, I went to the gate. As I’m walking to the gate I hear: “This is a page for passengers Huffman for United Airlines flight…” and I freaked out. I started running to the gate. When I got there I said: “You’ve already boarded?!” It was 11:15 a.m. Our flight wasn’t scheduled to leave until 11: 35 a.m.

The man said: “Yes and I need to shut the door; they’re about to take off.”

“But we’re waiting on sandwiches!” I wailed, trying to show my protruding belly. “My husband is back at Schlotzky’s!”

“I’ll be shutting the door in 3 minutes whether he’s here or not,” the man said.

So I called Huff the Hubs and said: “Hurry up! Just leave the sandwiches; they’re going to leave without us!”

I told him to run, forget about the $20 we spent on sandwiches, and get a move on to the gate. The flight attendant paged Bryan again and, by this time, I’m sweating from the anxiety and shaking from the low blood sugar. After about two minutes the attendant said: “I have to shut the door.”

I’m fighting back tears and say: “My husband is running to the gate; he’ll be here soon.”

The man goes to look down the hall and says: “I don’t see anyone running.”

By this time, I’m ready to punch the guy. I go stand next to him and look. Sure enough; he was right. I see Huff the Hubs, walking to the gate. {Insert frustrated growl here}.

“Hurry up!” I holler to him.

“You don’t have to be rude,” he says, handing me a bag of chips. Yeah.

I bite my tongue and hand the grumpy flight attendant my boarding pass and passport. Finally, we board. We’re the very last people on the plane. I sit down, fatigued by hunger, anxiety, and anger. Suddenly, the scene from an episode of How I Met Your Mother where Robin just finished a 3-day cleanse and never gets to eat pops into my head and I calm down a bit.

Needless to say, I inhaled the bag of chips, ripped open my explosive-resembling almonds and prayed for good food at the Houston airport.

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*We did get to eat lunch at the Houston airport. Here’s a pic of Huff the Hubs, enjoying the Chinese food at the food court:

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